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Timeline

1837

Pierpont Morgan born in Hartford.  Pierpont and his sisters, Sarah (left) and Mary, 1847.

1862

Pierpont Morgan establishes his first financial firm, J. Pierpont Morgan & Co., in New York, in partnership with his cousin James Junius Goodwin.

1867

J. P. Morgan, Jr., (known as Jack) born in New York. The Morgan children (left to right): Jack, Anne, Louisa, and Juliet.

1871

The financial firm of Drexel, Morgan & Co. formed by Drexel & Co., Philadelphia, and Pierpont Morgan.

1881

Pierpont Morgan moves to Murray Hill and purchases a town house (built in the 1850s) at 219 Madison Avenue.

1890s

Pierpont Morgan begins adding dramatically to his collections with outstanding purchases, such as a Gutenberg Bible on vellum (pictured above; he would subsequently buy two more, one on paper and another on vellum), the 1459 Mainz Psalter, the famous ninth-century Lindau Gospels, four Shakespeare Folios, and the autograph manuscripts of Keats's Endymion and Dickens's Christmas Carol.

1902–6

Morgan commissions American architect Charles F. McKim of McKim, Mead & White to build a library adjacent to his home to accommodate his growing collections.

1902–6

Interior of West Room during construction.

1903

Morgan purchases the other two town houses (built in the 1850s) on Madison Avenue. The middle of the three brownstones was later razed, and a garden designed by Beatrix Farrand was created on the lot. The house on the corner of 37th Street and Madison Avenue was purchased for J. P. Morgan, Jr.

1905

Belle da Costa Greene appointed Pierpont Morgan’s librarian; she would later be named the first director of The Pierpont Morgan Library.

1909

Pierpont Morgan acquires the Stephen H. Wakeman collection of American literature, which includes the journals of both Thoreau and Hawthorne.

1910

Pierpont Morgan acquires core of master drawings holdings from the English artist/collector Charles Fairfax Murray, including Il Guercino's Holy Family.

1913

Pierpont Morgan dies in Rome. Morgan's casket at Le Havre, France.

1924

Jack Morgan establishes the Morgan as a public institution and transfers its ownership, along with a $1.5 million endowment, to a board of trustees. Selections from the collections are exhibited to unprecedented numbers of visitors at the New York Public Library and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1928

The Morgan opens an Annex designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris (with connecting link, called the Cloister, to the original library) on the site of Pierpont Morgan’s former house on 36th Street and Madison Avenue.

1928

First exhibition of works from the collections held in galleries of newly built Annex, formerly the site of Pierpont Morgan’s home.

1935

Morgan Stanley & Co., the investment banking firm, established with Henry S. Morgan, a son of Jack, as one of the original partners.

1943

Jack Morgan dies.

1944

The United Lutheran Church in America purchases 231 Madison Avenue from Jack Morgan’s estate.

1948

Frederick B. Adams, Jr., appointed the Morgan's second director.

1949

Association of Fellows established.

1957

First tour of Morgan collections to seven premier museums across the United States, including the Huntington Library.

1962

An expansion program designed by Alexander P. Morgan adds a meeting room, new gallery, and office space to the Annex.

1965–66

McKim-designed library,  Morgan house, and Annex designated landmarks by the newly formed New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The McKim Library designated a National Historic Landmark.

1968

Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust donates Mrs. Cary's outstanding collection of music manuscripts, including Brahms's Symphony no. 1.

1969

Charles Ryskamp appointed third director of the Morgan.

1975

Eugene V. and Claire E. Thaw make a promised gift of their collection of master drawings, including Jackson Pollock's <i>Leaf from Sketchbook</i>.

1979–83

Popular international loan shows, such as Michelangelo and His World, William and Mary and Their House, and Holbein and the Court of Henry VIII, draw large numbers of visitors and help strengthen public perception of the Morgan as a museum.

1982

The Morgan purchases the finest known copy of the first state of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence as a gift of the Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. Charitable Trust

1987

 Charles E. Pierce, Jr., becomes fourth director of the Morgan.

1989

The Morgan purchases 231 Madison Avenue from the United Lutheran Church in America.

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1991

After a $40-million capital campaign,  a newly expanded Morgan, designed by Voorsanger & Associates, opens to the public.

1993

An exhibition of French master drawings from the collection, travels to the Musée du Louvre, Paris, including The Fool by Redon.

1996–97

Selections of the Morgan's  masterpieces, including Dürer's Adam and Eve, travel on a national tour to Houston, San Francisco, and Atlanta.

1998

The Morgan's Portrait of Guillaume Guillon Lethière by Ingres is part of an international loan exchange of master drawings with Russia’s Hermitage and Pushkin museums.

1999

The Drawing Study Center, designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, opens on the second floor of the Annex.

2001

The Renzo Piano Building Workshop selected to develop major expansion and renovation program.

2002

The Thaw Conservation Center, designed by Samuel Anderson Architect, opens on newly renovated top floor of the Morgan house.
Photography by Todd Eberle. © 2002 Todd Eberle.

2003

The Morgan closes to the public to undergo a major expansion and renovation project. Photography by Todd Eberle. © 2005 Todd Eberle.

2006

The Morgan reopens to the public on April 29, 2006. Photography by Michel Denancé.

2008

William M. Griswold becomes fifth director of the Morgan.

2015

Colin B. Bailey becomes sixth director of the Morgan.
Photography by John Calabrese.

1837
1862
1867
1871
1881
1890s
1902–6
1902–6
1903
1905
1909
1910
1913
1924
1928
1928
1935
1943
1944
1948
1949
1957
1962
1965–66
1968
1969
1975
1979–83
1982
1987
1989
1991
,
1993
1996–97
1998
1999
2001
2002
2003
2006
2008
2015